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Preakness ends playing of ‘extremely offensive’ state song

The official state song “Maryland, My Maryland” will not be performed before the Preakness next month.
The Preakness Stakes will be held without fans.
The Preakness Stakes will be held without fans.(Getty Images)
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT
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BALTIMORE (AP) - The official state song “Maryland, My Maryland” will not be performed before the Preakness next month because the lyrics are perceived by some to be racist.

A spokesperson for Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness, said Friday the tradition of playing the song before the race will be scrapped on Oct. 3.

The song was written by James Ryder Randall as a poem in 1861. The poem’s opening line is “The despot’s heel is on thy shore,” a reference to President Abraham Lincoln.

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